History of 123 Pleasant Street [Morgantown, West Virginia]

History of 123 Pleasant Street [Morgantown, West Virginia]

reprinted from: http://www.123pleasantstreet.com/misc/history/4

Page 4: The Underground Railroad, the Dry House, and the Underground, 1982-1990 

In 1982, 123 (the stage room) and 125 (the upper room) became the home to a vibrant Morgantown music community with the opening of The Underground Railroad (URR), largely conceived and operated by the now-legendary (in Morgantown, at least) Marsha Ferber.

Marsha and a group of friends with a common interest in music and a distaste for the status quo of the early 1980s spawned the idea of a bar where music was the binding force bringing together all types of people in a peaceful atmosphere.

The Underground Railroad’s name came from her desire to have a place where people could “find their way to freedom,” by interacting and listening to music without regard to skin color, dress, sexuality, hair style, or ideas. Harriet Tubman, the heroine of the real Underground Railroad, was painted on the wall of 123 and came to symbolize the bar’s concept of basic equality among all people.

The bar reflected Marsha’s idealism, her politics, and her taste in music. To help things out, at nearly the same time U92 (the WVU student radio station) went on the air with an alternative format and began supporting local music, while the student newspaper, the DA, began to follow happenings and shows at the bar with interest. To complete the circle an independent record store on High Street called Backstreet Records began carrying local music in conjunction with stuff you couldn’t find anywhere else. Morgantown’s underground music scene was born.

The Underground Railroad specialized in music-inspired fun, with healthy doses of art and politics which emanated an energy that invigorated Morgantown. It was the Reagan years after all, and there was revolution in the air among those not of the conservative mind-set.

There had always been local bands and artists in Morgantown, but the arrival of a venue which supported them on a long-term basis inspired a flowering of original music, art, and nearly anything else people wanted to put on the stage or the walls. Moreover, beginning with a show by Bo Diddley in January 1985, nationally known bands started showing up on the URR stage at an ever-increasing rate. The Dry House, an all-ages venue, opened in the lower room in 1985. The Brick Row building was showing its age by this time, but it became a place that drew people back again and again.
[Note: During URR days the liquor bar was in the stage room. The upper room was turned into a vegetarian eatery (during the day) and bar area at night. The Blue Ribbon Restaurant, two doors up from 123 in what is now The Adventure’s Edge store, was a standard visit for Undergrounders after long nights of music.]


The Daily Athenaeum, April 24, 1986

In the spring of 1988, the pivotal Morgantown band Th’ Inbred broke up, and student favorites Shank Swing and the Divots called it quits also. Still, April of 1988 was like any other month at the Underground RR, with a bevy of bands playing. This changed on April 25, the day owner Marsha Ferber walked out of the bar and disappeared without a trace. She was never seen again. Marsha was reported missing but the police, her family, and her friends never turned up any substantial leads to her whereabouts either dead or alive. Like Elvis, one can still hear rumours of Marsha sightings from ex-Morgantownies around the world. The case is still open.

An article about Marsha’s Disappearance from the DA, 1988

“Duff’s Band List,” 1989

The employees kept the venue running for another year but it closed, along with The Dry House, seemingly for good, in late May of 1989, one year after Marsha’s disappearance. In January, 1990, the bar changed hands and reopened as “The Underground.” The Underground only lasted about 6 months, when the bar changed hands again.

New Zealand’s Axemen at WFMU New York (broadcast 24 November 2009)

Reprinted from: http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2009/11/new-zealands-axemen-at-wfmu.html

Downloads and Links:

Download Zip File of Live Audio Tracks

One of the big touring surprises for 2009 has to be the visit of New Zealand’s legendary Axemen to U.S. shores.

The band began in Christchurch in 1981 and stood somewhat aside of the pop path exhibited by much of the the Flying Nun label roster, but are without doubt one of the more fascinating Kiwi exports.

Various live shows and releases displayed a loose but virulent amalgamation of avant-garage, Half Japanese style sax primitivism, confusion, and general air of maladjusted greatness.

They’ve got two reissues “Big Cheap Motel” and “Scary!” out now on Siltbreeze, and are hitting the road coast to coast with Times New Viking.

– Brian Turner/WFMU (WFMU Playlist & Streaming Archive for BT’s show)

View Full Radio Show Details 

View Live Track Details 

Play Full Radio Show (MP3)

Length:00:27:01
Host: Brian Turner
Engineer: Jason Sigal with Alex Yockey
CURATOR: WFMU
Released:November 24th, 2009
GENRES:

November 24, 2009

New Zealand’s Axemen at WFMU (MP3’s)

Axemenlive It’s a chore enough these days for any kind of overseas band to land a U.S. tour on any scale, so its was nothing less than a pleasant surprise when we learned that New Zealand’s Axemen had a pretty extensive one lined up with Columbus, Ohio’s Times New Viking this fall.

The Axemen started in Christchurch in 1981, a time when New Zealand and Flying Nun records in particular were stirring up a major musical waves (ones that were felt in countless 1990’s US indie bands and are still being felt today especially disciples like TNV), yet the sweeping, strummy pop element that was evident in many of the Nun’s stable was only a part of the fuzzy picture that was the Axemen.

The band’s central core of (Little) Stevie McCabe, Bob Brannigan, and Stu Kawowski recorded in both cheapo home mode and in traditional studios, but setting had little to do with the wide-swing of directions that are evident wherever you drop a needle (or cue up a tape).

There’s tons of basement weirdness nodding to the more antisocial Velvets and Swell Maps moments, scatterings of drunken White Album recreation attempts, even moments where they sound like Royal Trux way before their time.

When they played at Union Pool in Brooklyn last week I could swear they were going for a Stackwaddy/Doors thing, but then they became Half Japanese with Stevie playing sax solos on guitar. In Axemen recordings, they have one song about Elmer Fudd that sounds like Psychic TV, and another that is totally inspired by Grandmaster Flash. They even did a full album of Elton John songs. I have a feeling that if Flying Nun gave them the giant studio budget like they did Straitjacket Fits they would have come up with an album just as great as their Big Cheap Motel and Scary! Part III cassettes that Siltbreeze thankfully reissued in 2009.

Check out the clip below (and more after the jump) of the band on a 90’s NZ kids’ TV show (promoting their Peter Wang Pud album!), and dig in to their November 20th visit to my radio show, engineered by Jason Sigal and Alex Yockey.Thanks for Terre T for leaving us all the food the Reigning Sound didn’t eat earlier that day, there were some fancy pastries!

The Axemen Live at WFMU, Brian Turner’s show

Lineup: (Little) Stevie McCabe, Stu Kawowski, Bob Brannigan, Dragan Stojanovic

Promo video for Three Virgins LP (being reissued by Siltbreeze in 2010):

You cand find more on the Axemen’s My Space page and Y2K blog,the latter of which has updates on sometimes-member Mick Elborado’s recent exploits at his workplace; he recently drove his car through the lobby of his employers’ building, New Zealand’s equivalent of the IRS. No one was hurt, but New Zealand’s government might be learning a thing or two about satisfying employees’ gripes in the future.

Posted by Brian Turner on November 24, 2009 at 06:27 PM in Brian Turner’s Posts, MP3s, Music, Video Clips | Permalink

GIg Report – Philadelphia Nov 15 2009

Reprinted from: http://citypaper.net/blogs/criticalmass/2009/11/17/times-new-viking-the-axemen-the-mad-scene-nov-15-kung-fu-necktie/

posted by Brian Howard on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 at 11:34 am

CONCERT REVIEW: Times New Viking, The Axemen, The Mad Scene @ Kung Fu Necktie, 11/15

This is our second set, like Phish.

Sunday night shows are always a tough sell, but the four-band bill including U.S. Girls (who we’ll be up front and cop to not getting to the club in time to see) was as can’t-miss a show for indie rockers of a certain age as you’ll find. A healthy crowd of 40 or so (in their 40s or so?) crammed into tiny Kung Fu Necktie and watched as New Zealand ex-pat/Clean vet Hamish Kilgour and Lisa Siegel led The Mad Scene through a set of murky Kiwi-style noise rockers rife with alternating strumming and distorted jabs. That’s the thing about New Zealand: even their poppier indie pop is prone, at any second, to spiral into fits of SY-style noise fests. Kilgour, who apparently had lost his guitar strap, spent the first few numbers seated on the floor at the side of the stage — largely invisible to all but the front row — with a microphone stand angled down toward him, creating a scenario where the vocals seemed to be emanating from nowhere. Siegel eventually lent the singer her bass strap and Kilgour finsihed the set standing erect.  Stu Kowowski of the legendary Axemen (who’d take the stage next), sat in on drums for the set and was joined by Adam Elliott, drummer for headliners Times New Viking, for a set-closing number where both drummers pounded on the kit.

Then came The Axemen, a New Zealand noise/punk outfit on their first tour of the U.S. despite first slithering from of the antipodean ooze in 1981 in protest of the South African rugby team’s tour of the islands. Led by an apparently intoxicated Steve McCabe, the four-piece chugged through a set of classics, including a few choice numbers from Scary! Pt. III (a 1989 cassette that’s been recently re-released on vinyl by Philly’s Siltbreeze). The band, rounded out by guitarist/singer Bob Brannigan and in this incarnation bassist Dragan Stojanovic (the band’s lineup aside from the three core members has been in constant flux), turned in a rough-around-the-edges set (thanks mostly to McCabe’s inspired/drunken flailing) that alternated between all-out chaos and more crafted blues-rock tigned numbers that created as many questions as it answered. What must it have been like to watch this unit over the years, and what were these grizzled vets like in their younger, angrier days? A newer song that might be titled “Do You Wanna Be My Slave,” suggests the band’s as ascerbic as ever.

Photo | Brian Howard
McCabe (left) and Brannigan of The Axemen.

Though The Axemen were indeed the rare treat that made this lineup a can’t-miss, Times New Viking was the main course. The Columbus-based trio have, since bursting on the scene with 2005’s Dig Yourself (which got the long-dormant Siltbreeze back in business) have honed a style that’s equal parts hooks cacophony, a slicing wail crossed with mistimed engine on overdrive. Keyboardist Beth Murphy’s vocals remain shouted and defiantly off key. Jared Phillips‘ guitar parts are piercing and devastating. Elliott’s drumming and singing are wound tight and delivered fast. They eschewed the typical set-encore structure for a two-set program that may have somehow crammed 30 songs into their hour on stage.  It was exhilirating, ear-spitting, and so life-affirming.

Man who drove into IRD pays third of damage

Reprinted from: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3072295/Man-who-drove-into-IRD-pays-third-of-damage

David Jerrold Theobald will have to pay for less than a third of the $41,500 damage he caused in his ram-raid protest at the Christchurch offices of the Inland Revenue Department.

The 48-year-old remained disarmingly frank to the end, when he was sentenced by Judge Jane McMeeken in the Christchurch District Court today.

When she began sentencing him for driving his car through two sets of glass doors at the department’s offices, he corrected her, explaining that it was actually three sets.

“Don’t interrupt me,” said the judge.

She ordered him to do 300 hours of community work and imposed reparation totalling $13,000 to the owners of the building and the department. She also disqualified him from driving for nine months.

Theobald, who has now lost his job after working for the department for 25 years, had pleaded guilty to charges of reckless driving and intentional damage.

He is now a sickness beneficiary but hoped to get more work. His ram-raid in his car at 6.30am on a Saturday was a protest about his ongoing employment dispute with the department.

He will struggle to pay the reparations, even though he is single, has no children, and has been working for 25 years, because he has only about $1000 in assets.

He lives in a rental property and has no car.

“What have you spent your money on?” the judge wanted to know.

Theobald explained that he had been generous to people.

Defence counsel Simon Clay explained that there was a medical background to the case. Theobald’s actions had been a protest gesture. He had never been in trouble with the law, but had difficulties with his employer. He had checked to ensure there would be no-one in the offices when he made his protest.

Judge McMeeken said Theobald had believed for some reason that what had been happening gave him the right to damage property, but the building did not just belong to the department.

“You need to understand that it is one thing to protest, but it is quite another thing to deliberately, and intentionally, and wantonly destroy property especially when the property is not directly related to the organisation you had a gripe with.”

Ordering the reparation payment, she said: “The possibility of you making payment in full seems to me to be extremely remote, but you must realise there are consequences from your actions. You are going to have to budget wisely.”

IRD door smasher had ‘warned of terrorism’

Reprinted from: http://www.nzherald.co.nz

The man who drove his car through glass doors at the Inland Revenue Department building in Christchurch says he warned the department about terrorism but it had no security measures in place.

David Jerrold Theobald, 47, of St Albans, pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court today to charges of intentional damage and reckless driving.

He had worked at the Inland Revenue for 25 years and has said he had a long running employment dispute with the department.

In the summary of facts read to the court, Theobald told the police that he had warned the department about terrorism but they had no security measures there.

He drove his Mazda 626 through the foyer of the building in Cashel Street at 6.30am on a Saturday.

He crashed through two sets of glass doors and smashed a third.

Defence counsel Simon Clay asked Judge Stephen Erber to request a pre-sentence report for the November 17 sentencing.

Judge Erber ordered a reparation report and a pre-sentence report, and prohibited Theobald from driving while he was on bail.

– NZPA

Judge orders community work; $13,000 to repay

Reprinted from: http://www.stuff.co.nz

A disgruntled Inland Revenue employee who quit spectacularly by driving his car through the doors of the tax department’s Christchurch building has been handed a hefty sentence of community work and ordered to pay $13,000 in reparations.

David Theobald, 48, took his dissatisfaction with his employer of 25 years straight to the front counter at 6.30am on August 15.

He crept his Mazda 626 up to the Inland Revenue building on Cashel St and, after making sure no staff were present, slowly drove through three sets of plate-glass doors causing more than $40,000 in damage.

Theobald, a long-time Christchurch musician whose stage name is Mick Elborado, admitted the crime, quipping to police when they arrived: “It’s OK officer, I work here.”

Photos of his exploits quickly emerged on the website of his band, The Axemen, and a Mick Elborado is Innocent page was set up on Facebook.

Theobald pleaded guilty and yesterday was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court by Judge Jane McMeeken.

Defence lawyer Simon Clay said Theobald’s actions were in the nature of a protest, the culmination of a conflict at work that had lasted for some time.

There was a medical background to the offending, he said.

Theobald had checked there was no risk to any staff and smashed the windows early on a Saturday. He had been “disarmingly frank” with police, admitting his crime at the first opportunity.

The judge wanted to know why Theobald, a worker for 25 years, had no assets and no savings to make reparations.

He said he spent his money on drinks for friends and “being generous”.

The judge said Theobald deliberately drove through plate-glass doors. His actions were completely inappropriate. “It’s one thing to protest, it’s quite another thing to deliberately and wantonly destroy property.”

The building’s owner, Rapaki Property Group, sought reparation of $27,000; Inland Revenue sought $14,500. The judge sentenced Theobald to 300 hours community work. Reparations of $8000 to Rapaki and $5000 to Inland Revenue were ordered at $20 per week from Theobald’s sickness benefit.

Record Review: Axemen – Scary! Pt. III 2xLP (Siltbreeze/Sleekbott)

November 17, 2009

Axemen – Scary! Pt. III 2xLP (Siltbreeze/Sleekbott)

Axemen 2xLP
SCARY! pt 111 - Axemen

So the Axemen finally make it to the United States to tour, and one of the local weeklies lists them as “Axeman.”

Figures, right?

Nobody who’s in a position to know has influence enough to care. Tom Lax coulda bought a very decent used car with the ca$hola he’s sunken into this beyond-insane reissue program for New Zealand’s most divisive band – even so far as to have dug up two never-heard-‘em cassettes for the introductory offers, guaranteed to chase away even seasoned listeners.

Lifting up out of the muck that was Big Cheap Motel, this four-sider thankfully doesn’t give way to clarity, though some would claim it’d give birth to Blankdoggin’, as few of the ‘90s lo-fi oligarchy would have touched a synth or a sampler, let alone subjected them to the levels of abuse that Stevie McCabe offers up all over here.

Approximately 150 people will hear a serious Dirty Faces connection to the flotsam here; more will liken it to Royal Trux in their scum/disassociative phase, and that’s fine.

Here was – and is – a band that is continually in protest mode, against common sense if not a social or political cause … fuck, one of their auxiliary members drove his ride into the glass doors of the Kiwi tax office, and from all accounts, he’s free to walk on American soil as I write this. Does anyone in New Zealand want to swap places with me?

I’ve heard too many good things and am ready to throw away my life in the USA. This 1989 release is nothing but endless ur-jammin’ on some rudimentary melody, jive talkin’ monologue, screechin’ and sneerin’, occasionally stumbling onto a higher truth and really just content to slag off anyone that comes near it.

You don’t have to like it, or even respect it, because it was made to chase you and everybody else away. I respect that Lax puts out a pop record the likes of the Mantles or Eat Skull, but isn’t afraid to keep truckin’ in the weirdness like this charcoal nug. Still waiting on Three Virgins, and more eloquent thoughts from Wood Beez. (http://www.siltbreeze.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Times New Viking/The Axemen, Talking Head Club, Baltimore, MD 11/14/09

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Times New Viking/The Axemen, Talking Head Club, Baltimore, MD 11/14/09

Reprinted from:

http://nogiftforthegab.blogspot.com/2009/11/times-new-vikingthe-axemen-talking-head.html

Sonar Baltimore (Talking Head)
Sonar (Talking Head), Baltimore

The other night I was told, that since I have never left the country I know nothing about what constitutes good taste. I was also told that I was a loser for listening to Pavement. With that being said, I went to Baltimore on Saturday to see a band, who clearly must be shitty, and hung out with a bunch of other losers.

The first two bands, Mr Moccasin and Slow Jerks, are both local products. I only heard two songs from Mr Moccasin, but between that and what I heard on their Myspace, they sounded alright. People, who were there and had seen this band before, said that the group sounded better than they had in the past. I had tried listening to Slow Jerks earlier in the day, but my internet research skills failed me and I found nothing. It’s entirely possible that this was by design, though. Seeing these dudes live, I got the impression that perhaps they wanted to do everything DIY and gradually work their way up. If that’s the case, then props are in order.
The Axemen are from New Zealand, and apparently they formed back in 1981 as a means of protesting the fact that some South African rugby team was playing matches in New Zealand which violated an agreement of some sort. They were pretty tight live, and it wasn’t until the end of the set that I realized that my head had been bobbing the entire time.
Beth, Times New Viking - the object of the reviewers wild desire
Beth, Times New Viking - the object of the reviewers wild desire
This may have been a nervous reaction because early on in the set it occurred to me that the girl from Times New Viking was standing next to me. All the members of the band were in my general vicinity, in fact, and as a result I drank accordingly.
What struck me the most about The Axemen was how they came across as a band with the best of intentions.
Times New Viking, Baltimore
Times New Viking, Baltimore
It all just seemed so honest. They brought the one dude [Adam Elliot] from Times New Viking up on stage to do a song at one point, and that was pretty rad.
Towards the end, the guitarist took his shirt off and wiped the brow of the lead singer. The best of intentions. The whole set was a good time, and the forty people in attendance all seemed to dig it.
Times New Viking are quite possibly the loudest band that I listen to, and I went to this show to see how loud it could get. It was quite loud, and this was accentuated by the fact that the Talking Head is about the size of a hallway and the only difference between the club and an actual hallway is the fact that the Talking Head has a bathroom.
I had done some preliminary research about what TNV was like live, but all I found was that they get loud and that the drummer talks too much. Looking back, the drummer didn’t say a whole lot once the set got underway so maybe the internets was wrong about that.
TNV might be better live than they are on record.
They are a band of sounds, and that’s awesome on it’s own, but in concert the melodies are much more apparent. I do have to admit that I don’t own the latest record, and it’s entirely possible that they were just playing songs off of it and it’s also quite possible that the new disc is slightly more hi-fi than previous albums. I know for a fact that didn’t play all new songs because I recognized several and also because at one point they said, “Now, we’re going to play some old songs.”

Everyone was into it. There was more moving around at this show then at anything else I’ve seen all year, for the most part.

There was this one girl, and she seemed really tapped into the whole thing. She swayed and spun her way through every song. I think she had her eyes closed, but it didn’t really matter because the way she was dancing it was like an act of surrender. It was like what Nietzsche had described. She was on the edge of the proverbial cliff, but instead of being frightened or concerned, she was reveling in the chaos.

Loving every minute of it, and dancing like it would never stop. It’s how I generally feel on the inside, but since I’m such an uncouth deadbeat unfit for the public, it’s better for me to just keep my head down and try not to piss anyone off.

Times New Viking, The Axemen, Royal Bangs – Hi Tone Lounge, Memphis

Times New Viking, The Axemen, Royal Bangs

Reprinted from: http://www.livefrommemphis.com/memphis/memphismusicnews/1218-times-new-viking-the-axemen-royal-bangs-at-hi-tone-cafe

Venue: The Hi-Tone Cafe http://www.hitonememphis.com/calendar.php

The Hi-Tone, Memphis

NOVEMBER 9, 2009

Reprinted from: http://www.livefrommemphis.com/submitevent/details/2638-times-new-viking-the-axemen-royal-bangs

Doors Open: 8:00 PM

Starts: 9:00 PM

Age Restriction: 18+ Ages

$7.00 / Day of Show Price: $10.00 General Admission
Royal Bangs | 10:00 PM
http://www.myspace.com/royalbangs
Insound Staff Pick – 2008! Royal Bangs are a five-piece rock band from Knoxville, Tennessee. We Breed Champions is the band’s first full-length offering on Audio Eagle Records. Angular, dueling guitar melodies dance around manic, start-stop rhythms and are crowned by the earnest, pushed-to-the-breaking-point vocals of frontman Ryan Schaeffer. Or whatever. They have been compared to Modest Mouse, TV on the Radio, Architecture in Helsinki, etc, etc.

The Axemen | 11:00 PM
http://www.myspace.com/nemexa
The Axemen is a New Zealand band formed around 1981 in protest against the South African Springbok rugby team tour of New Zealand, a tour which created great controversy, especially as was in contradiction to New Zealand’s obligations under the Gleneagles Agreement.

The Axemen played in Chch Cathedral 1981 in response to the Springbok tour.

They also played at the protests for homosexual law reform in 1983, with member Little Stevie McCabe being severely beaten up in the Cathedral Square, Christchurch, toilets.

The Axemen’s founding members, Bob Brannigan, Little Stevie McCabe and Stu Kawowski had played in various bands, apart and together, in the South Island cities of Christchurch and Dunedin, but cohesed in reaction to Sprinkbok rugby tour.

Before Bob Brannigan and Steve McCabe met, Steve was playing in a two-piece band at Cashmere High School called The Gorillas with Peter Rees, evolving comix maestro and classical guitarist.

Brannigan and McCabe met through a mutual friend and played gigs in Christchurch and Dunedin under many names including The Whining Plums, Hey, We’re Wolves and The Twins in the early ’80s. It was at a Twins gig at the notorious Empire Tavern in Dunedin in 1983 where Stu Kawowski was first unable to control himself and leapt on stage to commandeer the bongoes, instantly adding another dimension to the unit.

Art School Photography graduate, photography guru, filmmaker, artist [1] , promotional maverick and explosives expert Kawowski was playing drums with Above Ground, Bill Direen’s band at the time he met the other members of the Axemen and soon ’joined’ the Axemen as a permanent fixture.

Brannigan, McCabe and Kawowski remain to this day the ’core’ of the Axemen, however many New Zealand musicians played with them over the years as guest / transient / semi-permanent members, making their influence and the influences they assimilated (like the borg) an important breeding ground and virtual swap-meet of ideas and influence in Kiwi music circles.

In February 2009, US record label Siltbreeze re-released the Axemen’s 1984 protest album :Big Cheap Motel” [2] on 12″ vinyl. Originally the album was released as a cassette packaged in a small bubble-sleeve with a straw, mimicking the milk drink “Big M” that the album was aimed at. The Axemen were invited to play at Christchurch’s “Summertimes” Festival in January 1984, a public music stage set up in Hagley Park. The band was shocked by the large-scale sexist “Big M” advertising surrounding the main stage, and decided to write a suite of protest songs about how the Christchurch City Council had “sold out” to the “Big M” sexist marketing. The Axemen recorded the concert, as well as studio versions of their songs and released a 45 min cassette entitled, “Big Cheap Motel”

Times New Viking | 12:00 PM
http://www.myspace.com/timesnewviking
Much like ’90s indie darlings Guided By Voices, Times New Viking are a noisy, lo-fi indie rock band from Ohio who made the leap from the long-running indie Siltbreeze Records to the higher profile Matador label.

Unlike Guided By Voices, whose hissy, distortion-heavy sound masked a knack for traditional ’60s-influenced pop hooks and surreal lyrical wordplay, this Columbus trio favor a more purely noisy and punk derived sound and minimalist, deliberately repetitive lyrics.

Times New Viking (the band name an obscure and meaningless pun on the name of the popular typeface Times New Roman) formed in Columbus in 2004, when art school students Adam Elliott, Beth Murphy and Jared Phillips spontaneously decided to form a band while hanging out in a local rock club.

Murphy and Phillips, who had no musical training between them, took over keyboards and guitar respectively, while the marginally more skilled Elliott played drums. (Elliott and Murphy both sing, often together though rarely in harmony.)

Debut album Dig Yourself was released on Siltbreeze in 2005, followed by Times New Viking Present the Paisley Reich in 2007. (The CD version of this album includes the six tracks from a pair of limited edition vinyl-only EPs released prior to the album.) Generally approving reviews and regular touring, including a stint opening for Yo La Tengo and performances at indie cred-builder festivals Coachella and SXSW, raised the band’s profile, and they made the jump from Siltbreeze to Matador for 2008’s Rip It Off, 16 breathless tracks in less than 31 minutes produced by Ohio noise-rock godfather Mike Hummel of Mike Rep and the Quotas.

Venue

Hi-Tone CafeMap

Venue:
Hi-Tone Cafe –   Website
Street:
1913 Poplar Ave.
ZIP:
38104
City:
Memphis
State:
TN
Country:
Country: us

Description

The Hi Tone was established in 1998 and quickly became one of Memphis’ premiere music venues.
Under new ownership in April of 2002, the Hi Tone has re-dedicated itself to bring Memphians and mid-southerners the best national and local acts from a wide variety of music genres.The Hi-Tone has been voted #1 Place to See Live Music six times since 1998 by the Memphis Flyer’s “Best of Memphis” public polls.
The Hi-Tone brings more original live music to the city than most all other venues combined. The house produces over 300 shows per year with nearly 1000 sets per year.

Conveniently located in the heart of midtown in Memphis, Tennessee, the Hi Tone offers music fans a unique experience with world-class musical talent.

We offer a small menu of great bar food including burgers and appetizers for your night-time cravings. See the Menu page for more information.

Times New Viking / Axemen at Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia

Reprinted from:

http://reviews.citypaper.net/articles/2009/11/12/times-new-viking-the-axemen

Times New Viking/The Axemen

Sun., Nov. 15, 8 p.m., $10, with The Mad Scene and U.S. Girls, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 866-468-7619, kungfunecktie.com.

by Brian Howard

Published: Nov 11, 2009

noise/punk

You could think of The Axemen as New Zealand’s answer to The Dead Kennedys. The reckless, shattered lo-fi art punk band formed in Dunedin in 1981 in protest of then-apartheid South Africa’s Springboks rugby team tour of the islands, and has raged ever since. Stu Kawowski, Bob Brannigan and Little Stevie McCabe have shuffled through a panoply of guest members over the years, and the result is a catalog that’s essentially a petri dish of virulent, smashed-up angst. Philly label Siltbreeze has recently re-released, in vinyl-only pressings of 500, two of the band’s early classics — Big Cheap Motel (an impromptu festival set protesting the fest sponsor’s sexist advertising) and the mammoth double album Scary! Pt. III. Consider this a statement show for resurgent Siltbreeze impresario T.J. Lax, who was not only responsible for discovering headliners Times New Viking (pictured) but more than likely had a hand in luring Kiwi expats The Mad Scene down from NYC for the evening.

Sun., Nov. 15, 8 p.m., $10, with The Mad Scene and U.S. Girls, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 866-468-7619, kungfunecktie.com.

 

Tags: axemen, Times New Viking

AXEMEN/Times New Viking split 7″ vinyl out now

Axemen do TNV’s “Sick ‘n tyred” and their “Rocks In My Heart” tune done to death by Times Neu Vikin’ – wicked 7” (ONLY AVAILABLE AT GIGS) and a limited eedition of 350 discs – each one individually enhanced by the artist band members. Ultra collectable sh*t. Check out some evidence below. See you at the NY show.

Tour Diaries 7) – Walkin in Memphis

The Hi-Tone - Elvis's Dojo
The Hi-Tone - Elvis's Dojo

Playing in Elvis’s old dojo was always gonna be a tall order. For a bunch of middle-class kiwis with a passion for rock’n’roll, Memphis is a trigger-word for what can be so right and also so wrong in the genre – the full spectrum of green lily-livered-nigger-music-lovin southern boy with just the right amount mixture of sass, sasparilla, and god-given ass and hips.

These coloureds don't run!
These coloureds don't run!

Thankfully it was an awesome gig and elvis even made an appearance and winked at me, he dug it i know…

He kissed me – and it felt like a punch….

Quote generator:

“i gotta say i was “

* shocked

* disgusted

* enthralled

* appalled

with your lastest show in the US.

I was expecting the unexpected, with the proviso that i was forewarned that the act was going to be unpredictable and the attitude factor would play a good part in what would eventuate into the axemen’s set, very much a reflection of the local conditions and atmosphere, once we can establish a base anywhere

don’t be cruel… to a heart thats true

Tour Diaries 6:) A fire within – nutsacks are ablaze!

Dragan - Barking
Nutsacks abound here in the States.

We have been privileged enough to sample some of the best goddam nuts the US has to offer, and the boys digged em so much they wrote a song about it.

‘Nutsack’ has become the trailblazing anthem for the axemen’s debut us tour with its unguarded gargantuan thrust, a melody worthy of methusela for its longevity properties, the lyrics reminding one of Baez in her Dylanesque – Poe phase, plus a backbeat Ringo would kill for, the uncompromising one-note guitar overlayin the verses topped off with the cream on the pudding, the triple-X chorus of Brannigan, Stojanovic & McCabe  every 8 bars or so.

“It shall be the killer single in 2010” – Nostradamus

Tour Diaries: 5) Bob and Dragan – Arrival

Bob tries to focus after getting his 'land legs' upon arrival in the new world
"I Think He Wants to Focus!"
L-R: McCabe, Stojanovoc
the lads sail into perfect storm conditions...

As the mythics in Valhalla prophesied, the four axemen were once again reunited in the new world, with all the dignity and indignities which applied.

Slowly but surely coming sharply into focus, as if from a dream Bob and Dragan emerged from the highly pressurised, sterile environment of he plane into the highly pressurized, puerile environment of L.A.

As if metatmorphosing from a dream of waldorf salads, pumpkin pie and some garbanzo beans.

Steve visibly winced when he saw the “Please be gentle with the girl from Yentl!” bumper sticker on his guitar case – It was plain as the nose on yer face it would take these gringos a while to socialize.

Santa Cruz Gig pre-nup

Reprinted from: http://thecrepeplace.com/

30 October 2009

Santa Cruz Gig pre-nup

Times New Viking, The Axemen, The Happy Hollows

Image

The Axemen is a New Zealand band formed around 1981 in protest against the South African Springbok rugby team tour of New Zealand, a tour which created great controversy, especially as was in contradiction to New Zealand’s obligations under the Gleneagles Agreement.

The Axemen played in Chch Cathedral 1981 in response to the Springbok tour.

They also played at the protests for homosexual law reform in 1983, with member Little Stevie McCabe being severely beaten up in the Cathedral Square, Christchurch, toilets.

The Axemen’s founding members, Bob Brannigan, Little Stevie McCabe and Stu Kawowski had played in various bands, apart and together, in the South Island cities of Christchurch and Dunedin, but cohesed in reaction to Sprinkbok rugby tour.

Before Bob Brannigan and Steve McCabe met, Steve was playing in a two-piece band at Cashmere High School called The Gorillas with Peter Rees, evolving comix maestro and classical guitarist.

Brannigan and McCabe met through a mutual friend and played gigs in Christchurch and Dunedin under many names including The Whining Plums, Hey, We’re Wolves and The Twins in the early ’80s. It was at a Twins gig at the notorious Empire Tavern in Dunedin in 1983 where Stu Kawowski was first unable to control himself and leapt on stage to commandeer the bongoes, instantly adding another dimension to the unit.

Art School Photography graduate, photography guru, filmmaker, artist [1] , promotional maverick and explosives expert Kawowski was playing drums with Above Ground, Bill Direen’s band at the time he met the other members of the Axemen and soon ‘joined’ the Axemen as a permanent fixture.

Brannigan, McCabe and Kawowski remain to this day the ‘core’ of the Axemen, however many New Zealand musicians played with them over the years as guest / transient / semi-permanent members, making their influence and the influences they assimilated (like the borg) an important breeding ground and virtual swap-meet of ideas and influence in Kiwi music circles.

In February 2009, US record label Siltbreeze re-released the Axemen’s 1984 protest album :Big Cheap Motel” [2] on 12″ vinyl. Originally the album was released as a cassette packaged in a small bubble-sleeve with a straw, mimicking the milk drink “Big M” that the album was aimed at. The Axemen were invited to play at Christchurch’s “Summertimes” Festival in January 1984, a public music stage set up in Hagley Park. The band was shocked by the large-scale sexist “Big M” advertising surrounding the main stage, and decided to write a suite of protest songs about how the Christchurch City Council had “sold out” to the “Big M” sexist marketing. The Axemen recorded the concert, as well as studio versions of their songs and released a 45 min cassette entitled, “Big Cheap Motel”

“The Happy Hollows have a lot of weapons in their arsenal, but chief among them is vocalist/guitarist Sarah Negahdari. ‘Faces,’ from the forthcoming Spells, gives Negahdari the perfect chance to show off her Polly Harvey-meets-Kim Deal croon.” — Magnet Magazine

“A killer hybrid of Kim Deal, PJ Harvey and Emily Haines. Negahdari has the guitar chops, explosive energy and winning sense of humor that should make The Happy Hollows one of the more interesting bands of our new millennium’s next decade.” — Wired Magazine

“A pugilistic mix of stinging guitars, turbulent rhythms, and shouted vocals. Alternates between childlike experimentation and ferocious firestorm.” — Los Angeles Times

The much-anticipated and highly acclaimed debut album by Los Angeles trio The Happy Hollows officially hits streets today, October 6th, 2009. The album, Spells (listen/order here) is a culmination of their work with producer and former Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist David Newton (The Little Ones, The Blood Arm), who also produced the group’s 2008 EP Imaginary. In support of the album, The Happy Hollows will be performing a string of East Coast dates surrounding their CMJ New Music Marathon showcases. The band will then headline a residency at Spaceland in Los Angeles throughout November. Please see complete dates below.

The young group’s infectious and irreverent noise-pop has earned considerable following up and down the west coast, with their energetic and charismatic performances. Vocalist/guitarist Sarah Negahdari wields ominous riffs and finger-tapped arpeggios while singing with a cherubic-yet-mischievous grin. Meanwhile, the agile rhythm section of Charles Mahoney (bass/vocals) and Chris Hernandez (drums/vocals) vault and lunge with precision.

Wired Magazine recently described Negahdari as “a killer hybrid of Kim Deal, PJ Harvey and Emily Haines” and added that “Negahdari has the guitar chops, explosive energy and winning sense of humor that should make The Happy Hollows one of the more interesting bands of our new millennium’s next decade.” The BBC picked them as a band to watch for 2009, the Los Angeles Times has described the group’s sound as a “pugilistic mix of stinging guitars, turbulent rhythms, and shouted vocals” that “alternates between childlike experimentation and ferocious firestorm.” AllMusic wrote that the band’s “appeal is immediate” and LAist has labeled them “a must see!”

The Happy Hollows’ catchy yet dissonant sound is influenced by genres as disparate as 90’s college rock, garage punk, art rock, and 80’s pop. The band combines innovative song structures, surreal lyrics, and fiercely adept instrumentation to recreate reality into a jagged panorama of vibrant, kaleidoscopic collage. Listening to their music, one cannot help but see visions of a place oddly askew from the world we experience everyday, a parallel universe that is at once whimsical, demented, and ferocious.

Having born and bred their band in various corners of the L.A. music scene since forming 2006, The Happy Hollows played their first shows in Japanese restaurants, laundromats, and small local clubs. In their first year as a band, they snuck into a studio at night and, in two sessions, recorded Bunnies and Bombs, an EP that attracted the attention of the L.A.’s underground music scene. After seeing them play a show, established L.A. heroes Silversun Pickups asked The Happy Hollows to open for them at The Wiltern and The Fillmore. In 2008, fellow art-rock outfit Deerhoof invited the Hollows to open for them on their album release shows at The Avalon and The Great American Music Hall.

View The Happy Hollows myspace site

View TNV ‘Move To California’ video

8pm doors, 9pm show $10